Do you get nervous when somebody borrows your phone? Not because they might invade your privacy, but simply because they might drop it and break its glass? You are not alone, and the researchers at the Indian Institute of Science Education and Research (IISER), Kolkata might have just found the perfect material to make a smartphone screen: A transparent material that is hard and self-heals when cracked.
Scientists have been working for decades to develop materials that can heal themselves, and they have had some success, too. For example, American Chemical Society researchers were able to develop small, swimming robots that can magnetically heal themselves, while researchers from the National University of Singapore took a different approach by making a smart foam material that allows robot hands to self-repair and sense objects.
However, one issue with these projects is that they are soft and opaque and not very suitable for rugged applications. So the researchers at IISER, along with those at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur decided to focus on developing something that is harder than conventional self-healing material, as reported by The Telegraph India.